studentcoring_klmckeeI realize that most students and science professionals are extremely busy and hardly have time to learn videography.  For this reason, I have been developing a series of tutorials designed to aid the scientist who wants to incorporate video into their research or education activities but who hasn’t the resources to hire a film crew or media specialist. The tutorials I’ve listed below will allow anyone with a smartphone or an iPad to begin making reasonably good videos that can be used to advertise a new research project, to create supplementary information for a journal article, or to enhance a website. In most cases, an hour’s investment is all that is necessary to gain the basic knowledge needed to shoot and edit a short video with an iPad, for example.

Note that I’ve listed all tutorials that I’ve made since starting this website, including ones that have been updated to reflect new versions of hardware or software. So be sure to scan through to find the one that fits your version. I’ll be adding more tutorials in the future. If you have suggestions, please leave a comment on the relevant post or email me (go to Contact page).

iMovie 10.0 and up (version released in 2013)

iMovie Tutorial: Part 1

iMovie Tutorial: Part 2

iMovie Tutorial: Part 3

iMovie Tutorial: Part 4

iMovie Tutorial: Part 5

iMovie Tutorial: Part 6

iMovie ’11 (earlier version)

iMovie 11 Tutorial: Part 1imovie11_screenshot_klmckee

iMovie 11 Tutorial: Part 2

iMovie 11 Tutorial: Part 3

iMovie 11 Tutorial: Part 4

iMovie 11 Tutorial: Part 5

iMovie 11 Tutorial: Part 6

How to Upload Your Science Video to a Video-Sharing Site

iMovie for the iPad:

How to Make a Book Trailer with your iPad or iPhone

Create Science Videos with your iPad

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 1screenshot_ipad_imovie_klmckee

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 2

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 3

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 4

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 5

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 6

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 7

Making Science Videos with your iPad Tutorial: Part 8

Avid Studio for the iPad

Tutorial: Avid Studio for the iPad (Part 1)

Tutorial: Avid Studio for the iPad (Part 2)


Photoshop Tutorial: How to Remove the Background from an Image (Part 1)

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Remove the Background from an Image (Part 2)

How to Create and Use an Electronic Whiteboard in Your Videos


How to Add Video to Your PowerPoint (2016) Talk

How to Make a Custom Thumbnail with PowerPoint

How to Make an Animation in PowerPoint: Part 1

How to Make an Animation in PowerPoint: Part 2

How to Record a PowerPoint Presentation with Screencapture Software

iPhone (and other Smartphones):

Basic Steps to Making a Science Video with a Smartphone

Filming with a Smartphone: 20 Basic Camera Shots

How to Edit an iPhone Video to Create an Eye-Catching Bulletin

How to Shoot Better Video with an iPhone

iMovie for iOS Tutorial Updated

iPhone Slow Motion Tutorial

How to Create a Time-Lapse Video with Your Smartphone

How to Create a Science Video with Your Smartphonescreenshot_iphone_klmckee

How to Make a Science Video with Videolicious and an iPhone

Using iPhone Panorama Images in Your Science Videos

New Gear for the Solo Science Videographer

GoPro Hero

360° Time Lapse with a GoPro Hero 4

How to Use QuickTime to Edit GoPro Videos

Using a GoPro Hero 3+ to Film Underwater

Field Testing a Quadcopter with GoPro Hero 3+ Camera

GoPro Hero 3+ Slow Motion Tutorial

Time Lapse Tutorial for GoPro Hero 3+


How to Use a Script While Looking at the Camera

How to Record a PowerPoint Presentation with Screenflow (updated)

How to Record a PowerPoint Presentation with Screencapture Software


How to Record a Movie with QuickTime

How to Use QuickTime to Edit GoPro Videos

Filming Accessories:

A Shutter Remote Controller for Your iPhone Camera

How to Improve the Audio of Your Videos Without Breaking the Bank


How to Avoid Wind Noise While Filming a Video

How to Conduct an Interview While Filming a Video

How to Create a Videographic

How to Make a Video about a Non-Visual Topic

12 Filming Mistakes to Avoid

How to Improve Your On-Camera Delivery in Science Videos

How to Add a Video to a Tweet

Try Tweeting a 30-second Video of Your Science

How to Create a Split Screen Effect with iMovie and Screenflow

How to Find Media at the Library of Congress for Your Video Project

Nine Ways to Tell a Science Story

7 Minutes of Terror (NASA) – How NOT to Bore Your Video Audience

How to Add Captions to Increase Your Audience Reach

How to Shoot Video and Avoid the Most Common Mistakes

How to Use the Connection Storymaker App

How to Create a Time-Lapse Video from Still Images

How to Insert a Watermark into Your Science Video

How to Make a Video Abstract for Your Next Journal Article

Rule of Thirdsscreenshot_ruleofthirds_klmckee

How to Create an Interactive Map of your Study Sites

How to Make your Science Video Memorable

How to Capture and Keep the Viewer’s Attention

How to Use Readability Statistics to Improve Your Science Video

Are Your Science Videos Understandable by a Diverse Audience?

Where Should I Publish My Science Video?

Recent Posts

But I’m Not Artistic!

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, public domain

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” – Vincent Van Gogh

That quote by Van Gogh is about our internal censor—the voice that erodes our confidence and prevents us from trying something new or challenging. Whenever I talk to a group of students or colleagues about making videos about their scientific research, someone invariably responds by saying that they aren’t very artistic and thus cannot be very good at videography. So, why even try?

I understand why they might think this way. Many people are reluctant to engage in any activity that presupposes creativity or artistic ability. Musicians and artists are believed to be somehow different—that they possess inherent talents the average person lacks.

However, as children, we all happily and unselfconsciously draw vivid pictures and make up imaginative stories. Then something happens. A teacher or parent says something discouraging, or our peers make fun of us. Or, as we grow older, other activities draw our attention, and that artistic spark fails to evolve.

I was lucky in that I continued to draw and sketch through childhood. I was an aspiring scientist and spent a lot of time drawing plants, insects, and protozoa that I could see with my microscope. I knew that such detailed drawings were important records for a biologist or ecologist to create. Even after digital devices came on the scene, I continued to sketch in my field notebooks and in the personal journals I kept. My ability to capture an image using only pencil and paper matured. Each drawing was better than the last one. I even became good enough to work as a free-lance scientific illustrator for a while.

My point is that any skill, whether artistic or not, improves over time with practice. With videography, your first attempts will likely not be great, perhaps even terrible. But it doesn’t matter because you will improve with each succeeding video you make. This point  is especially relevant for scientists and other professionals who want to use video as a communication tool. We’ll likely never be as good as a trained filmmaker, but we can still produce effective videos.

In fact, the scientist videographer’s goal is not to be a professional filmmaker but is instead to be a more effective science communicator. Scientists must still learn to communicate using traditional means such as writing articles for publication in journals and speaking at conferences. But we must also be able to use other media to communicate, such as video, which is now a popular way for people to get their information.

And by the way, there is no right way or wrong way to make a video. Worrying about making a technical error or being judged from a filmmaking standpoint is paralyzing. I always advise students who suffer from writer’s block to, “Just write and get your ideas down first; go back later and polish.” Most find that once they are freed from the fear of making a technical error or of not writing the perfect sentence, the words begin to flow.

That approach also works for videography. If you find yourself paralyzed with doubts, just start filming—yourself or others conducting field research or working in the laboratory. Film with the thought that you’ll not necessarily use all of the footage in your video. That view will likely free you to capture a variety of footage and give you some much-needed confidence about filming. I think you’ll find that once you’ve got some footage in hand, the creative juices will begin to flow.

So, if you are disappointed in your first attempts at videography (or are hesitant to even try), remember that even the best videographers were once novices. The difference is that they ignored their internal censor, which was gradually silenced as they made each succeeding video.

For more about this topic see: The Stages of Learning Videography (and Other Skills)

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